Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Standing female worshiper

Period:
Early Dynastic IIIa
Date:
ca. 2600–2500 B.C.
Geography:
Mesopotamia, Nippur
Culture:
Sumerian
Medium:
Limestone, inlaid with shell and lapis lazuli
Dimensions:
H. 9 13/16 x W. 3 3/8 x D. 2 1/8 in. (24.9 x 8.5 x 5.4 cm)
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
62.70.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 403
This statue of a standing woman with her hands clasped in front of her chest was found in the plasterings of a mud-brick bench located in one of the cellars of the Nippur temple of Inanna (Level VIIB), the Sumerian goddess of abundance. Her garment is draped over her left shoulder and falls in folds indicated by two incised lines along the border of the otherwise smooth fabric. The feet are carved in high relief against the back support and the toes and ankles are clearly indicated. The wavy hair is held in place by two plain bands, and curly locks hang down on either side of the face. Inlay of shell and lapis lazuli survives in her left eye. The best-preserved statues at Nippur are those that were buried within the temple furniture, like this example. Such deliberate burials suggest that temple offerings and equipment remained sacred even when no longer in use.
1960–61, excavated on behalf of the Joint Expedition to Nippur (Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research and The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago); acquired by the Museum in 1962, as a result of its financial contribution to the excavations.

“Expedition into the Past: Al-Hiba,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 16, 1972–January 21, 1973.

“Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May 8–August 17, 2003.

Wilkinson, Charles K. 1962. "Near Eastern Art". The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 21 (2), Ninety-Second Annual Report of The Trustees for The Fiscal Year 1961-1962 (Oct., 1962), p. 84.

Asher-Greve, Julia M. 1985. Frauen in Altsumerischer Zeit. Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 18. Malibu: Undena Publications, pp. 80, 201, pl. XIII, no. 460.

Evans, Jean. 2003. "Standing female figure with clasped hands." In Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus, exh. cat. edited by Joan Aruz, with Ronald Wallenfels. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 28, pp. 66-67.

Rakic, Yelena ed. 2010. Discovering the Art of the Ancient Near East: Archaeological Excavations Supported by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–2010. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 68 (1), Summer 2010, p. 25.
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